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AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WA)
The Federal Government’s new Health Care Homes trial recognises the vital role played by General Practitioners, the Australian Medical Association (WA) said today.
AMA (WA) President Dr Michael Gannon said the Government’s announcement was a ringing endorsement of the work general practitioners do on a daily basis, especially in the ongoing treatment of patients with chronic and complex health conditions.
“General practitioners play a unique role in our healthcare system by providing patients with a personalised care plan for a range of issues.
“For the majority of Australians the GP is already their healthcare home, providing all the health needs for them and their families.
“It makes sense to provide a ‘one-stop shop’ for an individual’s health needs, particularly for complex and chronic diseases that need numerous visits to solve.
“The Government’s trial will put in place more formal arrangements for patients with complex and chronic disease, with eligible patients enrolling voluntarily with a general practice.
“This trial will further improve on the already world-class healthcare in Australia while reducing the risks of fragmenting healthcare.
“The proposed Health Care Homes has the potential to build on this established practice – provided we get the new model right,” he said.
However, Dr Gannon added that there were still important pieces of information missing from the announcement that needed clarification.
“How will funding be administered or structured, what is the eligibility criteria for patients wishing to opt in, and what role will Primary Health Networks have in this new care model?
“We also need to know the amount and nature of funding for Health Care Homes during the trial period and beyond,” Dr Gannon said.